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It’s Childbirth, not child’s play, Fellas!

It’s Childbirth, not child’s play, Fellas!

Guys, gather here. We need to talk.

All women are the experts of their bodies. We men, will never grasp the magnitude of the challenges they undergo to simply exist on this earth and still be the amazing people we harass all over the place.

Now, since we were kids, we were socialized to think all women will want children and must have them, just as we ourselves were taught we’re to grow to be fathers and husbands.

But guys, real life doesn’t work like that. Real life cannot fit in a script. You might never want to marry nor sire little humans and some women never even want to hear about children.

Further, we know very little about the intricacies of childbirth. Well, the much we often see is a pregnant woman with a big stomach and the next thing they have a “bouncing baby”. We have no idea how incredibly traumatic childbirth can be. Yet again not every woman undergoes a painful childbirth.

Maternal deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa are almost 50 times higher than in any other region of the world. Women legit risk their lives giving birth. Some tell me they never recovered from their experiences.

So the old Swahili saying

“kazi si kuzaa, kazi ni kulea”
(the work isn’t to give birth, but nurturing a child) is false.

Kuzaa ni kazi, my friend. Kulea ni kazi ingine lakini kuzaa ni kazi.

So if you’re a guy and you’ve been thinking of children, have explicit conversations about this with your partner. If you’re already a father and at least in talking terms with the mother of your kid(s) ask if you can talk about this. They might have unprocessed trauma from the ordeal and you are the right person they wanna tell.

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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